Monday, 15 January 2018


This posting on the internet has been doing the rounds.  Link here:

It is all about words that have fallen out of use. Of the 20 items listed this one really struck a chord with me:

The origin [Wikipedia] : 
The term draws from a famous comment purportedly made by Apelles, a famous Greek artist, to a shoemaker who presumed to criticise his painting. The Latin phrase "Sutor, ne ultra crepidam", as set down by Pliny and later altered by other Latin writers to "Ne ultra crepidam judicaret", can be taken to mean that a shoemaker ought not to judge beyond his own soles. That is to say, critics should only comment on things they know something about.

The saying remains popular in several languages, as in the English, "A cobbler should stick to his last", the Spanish, "Zapatero a tus zapatos" ("Shoemaker, to your shoes"), the Dutch, "Schoenmaker, blijf bij je leest", and the German, "Schuster, bleib bei deinen Leisten".

Furthermore ... I would like to add my own observation to this, namely:

the more educated they are (and/or ... the further away from the subject they are...) the more authoritative is their stance!

Until I find a better image this will have to do!  You get the idea!

(A bald eagle and a Canada goose came beak-to-beak at the Spider Lake Springs Campground Friday morning.) **

* Cobbler Image Source: Wikipedia - Jorge Royan

Monday, 8 January 2018


Christmas and New Year have come and gone! 

|* * * * * * (Most of) THE GANG  * * * * * * *

Alastair, 9 (nearly 10), Ishbel 11, Ellie nearly 3, Mairi, Me with Harriet, 4, and Iain at Cruden Bay, Aberdeenshire, down at the harbour, New Year's Day.

 Alastair at Slaine's Castle (John's picture)

 Mairi, Big Alastair, Indy and wee Alastair at Slaine's Castle (John's picture)

Mairi at Slaine's Castle (John's picture)

 Indy being measured by me at The Kitchen Height Chart (IKEA's finest)!

* * * * * * *  Ishbel's 11th birthday which is December 31st * * * * * * * * * * 

We spent a week at Andrew's holiday house in Cruden Bay... a wonderful 8 bedroomed Victorian house built (by wealthy industrialists) in the 1860s when the railroad brought summer holiday makers to the north-east of Scotland.  The railroad has gone but the houses remain.

The best part of a birthday is putting the Smarties on to the cake and blowing out the 11 candles.

 The library had a fire.  John brought along a couple of jig-saw puzzles.

 Kings and Queens of England ... Done!

The conservatory was full of toys for little people.  What better than a lovely wooden doll's house!

Star baker Harriet

* * * * * * NEW YEAR'S DAY WALK DOWN TO CRUDEN HARBOUR * * * * * * *

Ishbel at the Victorian fire hydrant

 Alastair at a boat with his namesake:  Rascal!

Ellie of John's shoulders

* * * * *   AND FINALLY * * * * *

Ellie ... the end of a long day.

Tuesday, 26 December 2017


Alastair, Dawn, Indy have now arrived and we joined Mairi, Iseabail for Christmas day dinner at Mairi's house. She did all the work with iain's help.

John and children are in Wales with his parents.  A good day all round.

Boxing Day - a lovely day.  This is the sun at mid-day i.e. shining between rooftops of 2 neighbouring houses on the south  side of the garden. 

Everyone went out; I stayed in to 're-group'. More photos anon.

  The flamingos' winter coat gradually melted as the sun rose in the sky.

This chap looks like I felt last week - down with flu.  Now, however, have totally recovered. (Flu vaccination must have made a difference....)

Monday, 18 December 2017


Ellie (2 and 3/4 years) was with us today.  She helped decorate the Christmas tree.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017


A local landmark has had a make-over.  What was built originally as a Victorian mansion, then used as the local council offices, is now a smart hotel.  It is very much done up in the style for weddings, i.e. glitzy.

Having not been in the place since it was done up I was amazed at just what can be done with a dreary interior!  We joined others for a post-funeral tea  this week. Yes, the tea was just lovely with fresh, fat sandwiches, cakes and meringues beautifully all laid out on a slate plate.  And there was even a plate of the ever-necessary sausage rolls seen at every Scottish funeral tea.

When Iain and I came back from Chicago in 1969 we lived in the top of a house just at the back of those houses in the middle distance.  It was from there that we built our house on CVD.

The hotel has even done up the Victorian bandstand on the front lawn.

The frosty balustrade of the front steps sparkles in the midday sunshine.

* * * * * * * *

Ilona was looking for these German biscuits which I found lurking in one of the isles of Waitrose today.  And they are lovely: tasty, chewy... I think made from hazelnuts and sugar.

Tuesday, 12 December 2017


I spent some time in Millport this past weekend.  The cold clear wintery weather continues ... makes it great for taking photos. The sun is low, the shadows are long.

Thursday, 7 December 2017


I headed to the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum for the 1 pm organ recital today  (CM playing). 
Their Christmas tree was very welcoming in the main hall ... having come in from very cold and windy weather.

There has been an addition of coloured lights flooding the organ loft.  M-m-m-m ... not great for the organist who has these lights shining up from his feet as he tries to read the music.  However the audience appreciated the flat screens below showing close-up views of the keyboard(s) played by the hands and the pedals played by the feet.

While there I took the opportunity to view the new painting by Rubens which now graces the gallery.  The story is here [Guardian newspaper]:

A long-lost portrait of perhaps one of the most famous gay men in history by the Flemish artist Peter Paul Rubens has been found in Glasgow.
The portrait showing George Villiers, the first Duke of Buckingham, thought to have been James VI and I’s lover, had been hanging in a National Trust for Scotland property [Pollok House] and was believed to be a copy of the lost original, which had been missing for almost 400 years.

Conservation work carried out by the art restorer Simon Gillespie has returned the portrait, which belongs to Glasgow Museums, to its original state.
This allowed for a new assessment of its attribution and the painting was authenticated as a Rubens by Ben van Beneden, the director of the Rubenshuis in Antwerp.